What keeps us motivated?

 What motivates us in the first place?  

And how do we find that motivation when we are having a bad day?

Motivation is very fickle!

Firstly it’s important to remember that motivation is a VERY fickle friend.  It will be there in abundance when you first have an idea or set yourself a goal, it will make you feel full of good intention and will even spur you on when you don’t feel in the mood … at the beginning. But we all know it’s the first to leave the party when things gets a bit boring, or it suddenly all seems like hard work.   Basically we cannot rely on motivation to stick with us through thick and thin.  

We have to find something else to push us through to reach our goals and aspirations. 

In April I started back at my Bootcamp which I stopped going to when it was cold and miserable in December. To be honest, I was very pleased with myself to have kept going as long as I did!!   I’d been meaning to go again but the wet weather and dark nights were my excellent excuse to keep putting it off.  

Finally as Easter approached, the clocks had changed and the weather was warm so I couldn’t use these excuses any longer and I showed up.  They were running an ‘April Power’ month – for each session you attended you got 3 points, for any other form of exercise you did in your own time you received 1 point.  The goal was to get to 30 or more points before the end of the month.  My boys had gone away for Easter, the weather was lovely and I had time on my hands, so I went for a couple of walks (2 points), got my bike out (1 point) , did two bootcamp sessions  (6 points), ached a little so did some yoga to stretch (1 point) and in a week I’d achieved 10 points!!  When an email came through with the scoreboard and I was in the middle I suddenly realised I could possibly reach 30 points, even though I’d started 10 days later than everyone else. I just needed to do some form of exercise every day.   

Set yourself a goal

I had set myself a goal, I had a clear idea of what I needed to do, how often I needed to do it and on some days I could make it really easy (if I needed to). And the most important part for me – I was being made accountable because I had to submit my activity and I could see it on the weekly scoreboard.  I knew I couldn’t win it but I just wanted to prove to myself I could reach the magic goal of 30.

Did I do it??

I got 29 points!  If I had known I was that close I would have done one more walk or one more yoga session.  BUT I did get the honour of “Member of the Month” and a bottle of fizz for doing something every day and making such a big effort. 

can i keep my motivation?

I’ve created my own chart with the same scoring system with the aim to do some form of exercise every day.  Another lady I met at the group did the same thing, and funnily enough she got joint ‘Member of the Month” with me for exactly the same reasons – so we have decided to keep each other accountable moving forward. 

We can all be motivated by a deadline, an upcoming event, other people, a challenge, improving ourselves in some way but unless we break these goals down and plan how we are going to adapt our behaviours to achieve them – they will always be just that – dreams and goals.

My top tips for keeping motivated:

1. Be clear about your goal

What is that you really want to achieve.
Be as specific as possible.
(in my example it was to reach 30 points by the end of the month).

2. Make a list of all the ways you could achieve this

Really think about ALL the ways you could go about this. 
Think outside the box. 
(in my example I had a few other forms of exercise I could chose from).

3. Think about how realistic this is

Which ones are going to be the most effective? 
Which ones are going to be relatively easy to achieve?
Now eliminate or put at the bottom of the list any ideas that realistically just won’t work for you. 
(in my example I knew I couldn’t win the competition – I’d started too late so I didn’t set my goal too high, and I gave myself 30 mins of yoga from YouTube on the days where I couldn’t / didn’t want to go out and do exercise).

So what goal do you want to reach in May?

Can you break it down into small and achievable behaviours that you will want to carry out?

And most importantly – don’t forget to celebrate your successes!

If you need an accountability buddy or someone one to help you find your motivation – please contact me!

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